Success Story: Pennsylvania
Integrated Machine Company was started in July 2001 by Mary Jo Light. The company prides itself in American-made products and the use of American suppliers. The initial purpose of the company was to manufacture quick disconnect fire hydrant storz. This unit has since universalized the fire hydrant connection and allows fire departments to assist one another by using the storz connection instead of a threaded adapter that was unique to each department.
Integrated saw an opportunity to solve a problem in the coupling market. They were approached by two coupling distributors in Erie to create a solution to a major problem with large diameter couplings used in the oil and gas industries, also known as the fracking industry. Many of the couplings purchased by these distributors were failing in the field due to poor quality, thus having negative effects on the environment. Integrated plans to manufacture large quality couplings that will be used with lay-flat hose fluid delivery. These products also have applications in the military, agriculture, and irrigation markets. They plan to offer products of superior quality in order to compete with Chinese imports.
In order to assist in the financing of new machinery to manufacture these couplings, Mary Jo entered the Ben Franklin Big Idea Contest in 2015. She once again came to the Gannon University SBDC for assistance with the business plan and financial projections needed to submit to the Ben Franklin Technology Partners. The SBDC reviewed the plan that she had prepared, as well as her PowerPoint presentation and projected income statements.
On May 7, 2015 Mary Jo was awarded a second place prize of $10,000 from the Ben Franklin Technology Partners. This sum along with other bank financing will enable her to purchase machinery and inventory needed to produce the new couplings. The size of the coupling market is in the billions of dollars. Mary Jo anticipates that her sales could reach four million dollars within the next three to four years. This increase in revenue would enable her to add up to 10 new well-paying manufacturing jobs.